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Anti-Gay Regnerus Scandal: Editor James Wright Must Disclose Wilcox’s Role

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June 10, 2012.

That was the publication date for two studies twinned in anti-gay-rights political purpose, one by Mark Regnerus, the other by Loren Marks.

The studies were published in the Elsevier journal Social Science Research. That journal’s editor-in-chief is James Wright.

The Regnerus study’s funders immediately began using the two studies as heavily artillery in their War Against Gays.

The Regnerus study’s chief funder is The Witherspoon Institute, which is joined at the hip to the National Organization for Marriage (NOM).

In their early days, Witherspoon and NOM shared an office at 20 Nassau Street, Suite 242 in Princeton, New Jersey. The two anti-gay-rights group remain joined at the hip: Witherspoon president Luis Tellez has a been a NOM board member since NOM was founded by its current mastermind Robert P. George, who also is a Witherspoon senior fellow.

The Witherspoon connection to Elsevier’s journal Social Science Research is Witherspoon’s W. Bradford Wilcox, Director of Witherspoon’s program on “Marriage, Family and Democracy” and an editorial board member of Social Science Research.

The connections between NOM founder and mastermind Robert George and Brad Wilcox do not stop at those observed in the Witherspoon Institute; Wilcox also is a member of Princeton University’s James Madison Society, which is headed by Robert George.

It almost surely was not mere coincidence that — with Wilcox on the Social Science Research editorial board — the twinned Marks and Regnerus studies appeared simultaneously, the Regnerus study through very suspicious rush circumstances in time for pernicious anti-gay-rights political exploitation in the 2012 elections.

No speculation whatsoever is necessary to prove that Social Science Research editor James Wright is attempting to hide his editorial board member Wilcox’s connections to the unethical publication of the Regnerus study through corrupt peer review.

Witherspoon’s 2010 IRS 990 forms define Regnerus’s New Family Structures Study as a project of Wilcox’s Witherspoon program.

Whereas Regnerus in his published study alleges that his funders played no role in study analyses, Wilcox was issued, and signed, a consulting contract for data analysis on the Regnerus study. Wilcox’s data analysis contract is the second contract at this link.

Wright intends to publish, in November, another non-peer-reviewed article by Regnerus — a response to his critics — which Regnerus titles — “Additional Analyses” — in which Regnerus again lies by saying that his funders have not been involved in data analysis.

An e-mail to Wright asking if he would be correcting that falsehood did not receive the courtesy of a reply.

Meanwhile, there are grounds for concern that Regnerus’s data set is entirely invalid, has been improperly manipulated, or both.

Regnerus claims that his data set is statistically accurate for the whole population of the United States. Yet one of his “findings” is that — out of 2,988 respondents between the ages of 18 and 39 — 620 (six-hundred and twenty) have never once in their lives masturbated. Regarding childhood sexual victimization, Regnerus phrased a question about it, such that there is no way for anybody to know who allegedly sexually victimized his study respondents as children. Yet, his “finding” is that children of “lesbian mothers” are abused at a rate of 23% — nearly double that for the next highest family structure in his study, that of step families, reported at 12%.

Previous studies of lesbian parents consistently have shown low child sex abuse rates. And, the Witherspoon/NOM/FRC cronies involved with the genesis, carrying out, and political promotions of the Regnerus study have long histories of demonizing gay people by conflating homosexuals with pedophiles, a known falsehood.

There is a blockade against third party sociologists being able to evaluate the Wilcox/Regnerus presentation of the study’s “findings,” because Regnerus has not yet released his raw data. The appearance is that Regnerus is withholding his raw data until after the November elections, in line with his funders’ political goals for his study. Regnerus should immediately apologize for his lie about his funders in relation to his data analyses, and he should immediately release his raw data so that third party sociologists can fully evaluate his anti-gay defamation that explicitly exists — in his vague and un-interpretable finding — that children of “lesbian mothers” are sexually abused at a rate of 23%.

The central problem with Elsevier and Regnerus is that objectively viewed, there simply is no basis for trust that the perpetrators are not lying about their product, Regnerus’s study.

It is dismaying that the article by Regnerus that Wright intends to publish in November is titled “Additional Analyses” and that the article says that Regnerus’s funders did not participate in the analyses, when we know for a fact that they did.

Regnerus and his business partner enablers in Elsevier know no shame.

The Regnerus Additional Analyses document is packed full of additional lies and subterfuges. For example, Regnerus purports to answer to the observation that many of his study subjects’ parents were closet cases who entered into sham opposite gender marriages or relationships.  He says that that may or may not be the case, but that the study was not designed to make that determination. He then says, that for those cases in his study, where a study respondent’s mother had the respondent child with a man, then separated from the man and had a same-sex relationship, he — pay very, very careful attention to his — Regnerus says that he would “hesitate to assert that a same-sex relationship — especially if relatively brief — is indicative of a fixed sexual orientation.” (Bolding added).

But meanwhile — in documented reality — Regnerus did not at all hesitate to assert that his study subjects’ mothers were “lesbian mothers.” In his published study, he said that the question his study answers is: “Do the children of gay and lesbian parents look comparable to those of their heterosexual counterparts?” Throughout his published study, Regnerus refers to his subjects’ mothers who had same-sex relationships as “lesbian mothers.”

To deflect the criticism of his study, wherein it is surmised, by those doing the criticism, that most of his study’s parents judged to be gay parents were closet cases in sham heterosexual marriages, Regnerus tells a lie, saying that he hesitates to label his study subjects’ parents as lesbian mothers, even though, in his study, he absolutely did label them as lesbian mothers, with no hesitation whatsoever.

And, there is a reason Regnerus is telling this lie; if the main conclusion of his study were that anti-gay prejudice must be eliminated, to prevent the negative fallout that occurs when closet cases enter sham heterosexual marriages and have children, Regnerus’s study funders would not have the anti-gay-rights political weapon that they commissioned from Regnerus for $785,000.

Regnerus lies through his teeth about his study, while talking out both sides of his gay-bashing bigot mouth.

I repeat: The central problem with Elsevier and Regnerus is that objectively viewed, there simply is no basis for trust that the perpetrators are not lying about their product, Regnerus’s study.

At the end of June, 2012, after a group of over 200 Ph.D.s and M.D.s sent Social Science Research a letter expressing concerns about the twinned Marks and Regnerus studies, emphasizing concerns about the suspicious publication process of the Regnerus submission, and concerns that the Regnerus submission does not support its conclusions, editor James Wright assigned editorial board member Darren Sherkat to an audit of the publication of the studies.

That audit was a sham, with Sherkat admitting that the peer review of the Regnerus study was not valid, yet holding nobody accountable for the gross dereliction of science publishing duty represented by the corrupt publication process for the study. To the contrary, Sherkat invents excuses for all of the Social Science Research malefactors, including that because they are busy in their lives, they cannot be expected to carry out their duties as peer reviewers responsibly.

In a July 16, 2012 e-mail, this reporter asked Sherkat what he would do, if he found that the peer reviewers of the Regnerus study had conflicts of interest. Sherkat said: “I would advise the editor and editorial board that the paper should be retracted and resubmitted for a full review (that is normal procedure in all sciences).”  Contradicting that message, Sherkat told interviewer Michael Bajaras, in the wake of his sham audit: “normatively in sociology we don’t retract papers.”

In other words, to keep us quiet, Sherkat said that if he found conflicts of interest, he would tell Wright and the editorial board that the Regnerus study should be retracted, because “that is normal procedure in all sciences,” but then after he did in fact find conflicts of interest, he contradicted his statement about retraction being normal in cases of conflicts of interest, and alleged that “normatively in sociology we don’t retract papers.”  Unless Sherkat believes that sociology is not a science, his two contradictory statements can not be reconciled with each other.

Sherkat’s sham audit does not once mention that Regnerus’s Witherspoon funding agent representative Brad Wilcox sits on the editorial board of Social Science Research and that some of his anti-gay-rights cronies were allowed to do peer review and published commentaries about the study.  That is to say, Sherkat’s sham audit left very serious, essential facts of the matter, including multiple conflicts of interest, hidden from the public view.

Moreover, Wright intends to publish, in November, a Letter from the Editor about the Regnerus hoax. In his letter, Wright seeks to discredit me. I had reported, accurately, that on July 15, Sherkat told me in an e-mail: “Yes, the peer review process failed here, and you can quote me on that.”

But Wright in his letter accuses me of promoting Sherkat’s statement about peer review failure as being something “much more sinister.” He then includes, in his letter-from-the-editor, quotes from his SSR corporate toady Sherkat, in which quotes Sherkat attempts to make light of his on-the-record statement, absurdly claiming that peer review failure does not really mean that the peer review failed.

Sherkat additionally had told me: “How did this study get through peer review? The peers are right wing Christianists!

Regnerus’s funding agent representative, who also is Wright‘s Social Science Research editorial board member Brad Wilcox, certainly can be classified as a “right wing Christianist.” And, according to all of the assembled documentation and evidence, Wilcox was permitted to peer review one, and possibly both of the Marks and Regnerus studies. In his article The Fact of Life and Marriage: Social Science and the Vindication of Christian Moral Teaching,” Wilcox argues against contraception.

It could hardly be more obvious than it is, that Wilcox/Regnerus are abusing social science to attempt to achieve a “vindication of Christian moral teaching,” at the expense of gay human beings defamed through their invalid study that was only published through corrupt, insider, study-funder-connected, “right-wing-Christianist” peer review that let glaring scientific failings through into publication.

Ironically, before we had uncovered the connections between Wilcox and the corrupt publication of the Marks and Regnerus studies, Sherkat on July 17 said in an e-mail that “Wilcox most prominently” should be pressured by activists for his anti-gay hate mongering.

It is true that Wilcox is a bad actor and should be pressured. Yet, the real accountability for the publishing hoax involved with the Regnerus study is on the shoulders of the publisher, Elsevier, and Elsevier’s Social Science Research editor James Wright.

Wright has yet to acknowledge — and to give the public full details and documentation about — Wilcox’s involvement in this scandal. Wright has assembled various commentaries in support of Regnerus for publication in November; Wilcox’s name is not once mentioned in those upcoming articles.

An e-mail sent to Wright asking if he would be disclosing Wilcox’s connection to the Regnerus study hoax went without the courtesy of a reply.

With relentless determination, we must demand that James Wright disclose everything known about Wilcox and the Marks and Regnerus studies. Beyond that, the right thing for Elsevier and James Wright to do is to retract the Regnerus study from publication and to put it through valid peer review prior to any eventual future republication.

In a July 15 e-mail, Elsevier’s Social Science Research editorial board member Darren Sherkat said:  “I want to thank you and everyone else in the activist community for keeping this on the front burner.”

To a sign a petition telling Elsevier officials to retract the Regnerus study, go here.

New York City-based novelist and freelance writer Scott Rose’s LGBT-interest by-line has appeared on Advocate.com, PoliticusUSA.com, The New York Blade, Queerty.com, Girlfriends and in numerous additional venues. Among his other interests are the arts, boating and yachting, wine and food, travel, poker and dogs. His “Mr. David Cooper’s Happy Suicide” is about a New York City advertising executive assigned to a condom account.

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‘Poisonous’: Former Advisor Says Republicans Have ‘Just Switched Trump Off in Their Brain’

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In an interview with The Guardian, one of Donald Trump’s former senior advisers stated that the word he is getting from people he has spoken to is that they want the former president to be put out to pasture after the poor midterm election results for Republicans weeks ago.

According to John Bolton, who served as Trump’s national security adviser, it’s time for the GOP to move on from the former president if the party wants to reclaim the Oval Office in 2024.

Bolton, whose tenure serving under Trump ended acrimoniously, told the Guardian’s David Smith that there are a multitude of reasons to put Trump in the rearview mirror, but the impact that the former president had on GOP fortunes in the midterms seems to be the final straw with many conservatives.

“There are a lot of reasons to be against Trump being the nominee but the one I’m hearing now as I call around the country, talking to my supporters and others about what happened on 8 November, is the number of people who have just switched Trump off in their brain,” Bolton explained.

ALSO IN THE NEWS: Trump’s new Mar-a-Lago scandal proves why aides want him to stick to a teleprompter

Elaborating, he continued, “Even if they loved his style, loved his approach, loved his policies, loved everything about him, they don’t want to lose and the fear is, given the results on 8 November, that if he got the nomination, not only would he lose the general election, but he would take an awful lot of Republican candidates down with him.”

“There’s no doubt Trump’s endorsement in the primary can be very valuable to a candidate in the Republican party. But relying on that endorsement or trumpeting yourself as the Trump-endorsed candidate is poisonous in the general election. So if you actually want to win elections, Trump is not the answer,” Bolton continued. “William F Buckley [the conservative author] once had a rule that in Republican primaries he supported the most conservative candidate capable of winning the general election and, under that theory, Trump loses.”

The Guardian’s Smith notes that Bolton “… joins Trump’s vice-president Mike Pence, secretary of state Mike Pompeo, attorney general William Barr, UN ambassador Nikki Haley, chief of staff Mick Mulvaney and onetime ally Chris Christie in a growing rebellion among alumni making the case – overtly or subtly – that Trump has become an electoral liability.”

You can read more here.

Image by Gage Skidmore via Flickr and a CC license

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Trump’s Dinner With Kanye Also Included a Former Aide Accused in Pay-for-Pardon Play, and White Supremacist Fuentes

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Donald Trump‘s dinner earlier this week with antisemite Kanye West and holocaust denier and white supremacist Nick Fuentes may also have included two other right-wingers, hinted at by the former president himself.

After Axios‘ reporting confirmed that Fuentes had in fact had dinner with Trump, Trump issued a statement saying, “Our dinner meeting was intended to be Kanye and me only, but he arrived with a guest whom I had never met and knew nothing about.”

But later, on Friday afternoon via his Truth Social platform, Trump wrote a defense of the dinner with an expanded guest list.

READ MORE: Trump Claims He ‘Knew Nothing About’ the White Supremacist Antisemite Who He and Kanye West Dined With at Mar-a-Lago

“This past week, Kanye West called me to have dinner at Mar-a-Lago,” Trump wrote. “Shortly thereafter, he unexpectedly showed up with three of his friends, whom I knew nothing about. We had dinner on Tuesday evening with many members present on the back patio. The dinner was quick and uneventful. They then left for the airport.”

As The New York Times’ Maggie Haberman noted, Trump did not denounce his guest’s extremist beliefs.

“Three of his friends,” according to the far-right wing website Breitbart, apparently includes Fuentes, far-right provocateur Milo Yiannopoulos, and former Trump 2016 aide Karen Giorno.

Breitbart states, “two people who say they were at the dinner on Tuesday evening–Yiannopoulos and onetime Trump aide Karen Giorno–have publicly stated that Fuentes was in fact at the dinner with West and Trump.”

“’Nick attended the dinner and sat across from the president. I sat to the president’s right and Ye to his left,’ Giorno said in a statement to podcaster Tim Poole’s website Timcast,” Breitbart reports. “‘The president was by himself for dinner but invited Ye to meet some people on the patio.'”

Politico reports Giorno “confirmed to Politico that she was also at the dinner with Trump, West and Fuentes,” but does not mention Yiannopoulos as a dinner guest.

READ MORE: Watch: Chasten Buttigieg Says Tucker Carlson Is Focusing on ‘Hate’ After Host’s Latest Anti-Gay Attack on His Husband

Referring to Kanye West by his new name, VICE News adds: “Ye, who has been been on an antisemitic spiral in recent months, announced he is going to be running for president in 2024, and Yiannopoulos is his campaign manager. He claimed that he asked the former president to run with him as his vice-president. According to Ye, the dinner involving the billionaire, the rapper, and the white nationalist devolved into screaming and derogatory epithets.”

Yiannopoulos is the former Breitbart editor who became disgraced after saying, “I think in the gay world some of the most important, enriching and incredibly life-affirming, important shaping relationships very often between younger boys and older men.” Earlier this year U.S. Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene came under fire for hiring, as an intern, Yiannopoulos, even after he appeared to support sexual “relationships” between boys as young as 13 and older men.

Karen Giorno, The New York Times reported early last year, “had access to people around the president, having run Mr. Trump’s campaign in Florida during the 2016 primary and remaining on board as a senior political adviser during the general election.”

“In July 2018, Ms. Giorno signed an agreement with Mr. Kiriakou, a copy of which was obtained by The New York Times, ‘to seek a full pardon from President Donald Trump of his conviction’ for $50,000 and promised another $50,000 as a bonus if she secured a pardon,” The Times reports.

Kiriakou is John Kiriakou, who The Times identifies as “a former C.I.A. officer convicted of illegally disclosing classified information.”

On what appears to be her Instagram page, Giorno has photos of herself with numerous Republicans, including Marjorie Taylor Greene, Mike Flynn, Sarah Huckabee Sanders, Florida Governor Ron DeSantis, Florida attorney general Ashley Moody and several other top Florida elected officials, U.S. Rep. Brian Mast, South Carolina Governor Henry McMaster, and Sarah Palin, among others.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Trump Claims He ‘Knew Nothing About’ the White Supremacist Antisemite Who He and Kanye West Dined With at Mar-a-Lago

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Donald Trump and Kanye West had dinner at Mar-a-Lago Tuesday night and the disgraced artist who goes by “Ye” brought a guest, the white supremacist, antisemite and “America First” and “Big Lie” purveyor Nick Fuentes. Now the former president is claiming Fuentes was a guest of West, and he knows “nothing” about him.

“Trump’s direct engagement with a man labeled a ‘white supremacist’ by the Justice Department, one week after declaring his 2024 candidacy, is likely to draw renewed outrage over the former president’s embrace of extremists,” Axios’ Jonathan Swan and Zachary Basu report.

Axios notes that in a video West posted to his recently restored Twitter account, he says, “Trump was ‘really impressed’ with Fuentes because ‘unlike so many of the lawyers and so many people that he was left with on his 2020 campaign, he’s actually a loyalist.'”

“Ye, who has lost major sponsorships over his anti-Semitism and recent far-right associations, has said he wants to run for president in 2024,” Axios adds. “The rapper claims Trump started ‘screaming’ at him at the dinner and told him he would lose — ‘most perturbed’ by Ye asking Trump to be his running mate.”

READ MORE: Watch: Chasten Buttigieg Says Tucker Carlson Is Focusing on ‘Hate’ After Host’s Latest Anti-Gay Attack on His Husband

Swan says Trump issued a statement in response to his reporting, claiming he does not know Fuentes.

“Kanye West very much wanted to visit Mar-a-Lago,” Trump’s statement says, an apparent attempt to minimize his dining with two racists and antisemites. “Our dinner meeting was intended to be Kanye and me only, but he arrived with a guest whom I had never met and knew nothing about.”

The New York Times’ Maggie Haberman observes that Trump’s “statement does nothing to denounce that background, including Holocaust denialism, or even acknowledge it.”

Trump first claiming West just wanted to see Mar-a-Lago, but immediately after calling it a “meeting” is notable, given that West has since suggested he is running for president.

Axios importantly adds that “Fuentes first gained notoriety after attending the white supremacist ‘Unite the Right’ rally in Charlottesville in 2017,” and, “Trump was heavily criticized at the time for his response to the racist violence.”

Journalist Jeff Sharlet is the executive producer of Netflix’s “The Family,” based on his books that exposed the secretive Christian right organization of the same name. The Family, also called The Fellowship, hosts the annual National Prayer Breakfast. Its members were involved in Uganda’s “Kill the Gays” bill.

Sharlet warns this is an “inflection point.”

“Trump dinner with Ye, at this point, is a major story,” Sharlet tweeted. “But with Nick Fuentes? That’s an inflection point even for a former president already committed to fascism.”

Journalist and activist Elad Nehorai tweeted: “Never let a single right winger or Republican claim they care about Jews after this. Fuentes openly praises Hitler. He is a Holocaust denier. He is one of the US’s most dangerous white nationalists. Trump hosted him & not one Republican had said a word.”

Attorney and former Republican Ron Filipkowski, who tracks and reports on right wing extremism, says Trump’s statement “reminds me of the time when Proud Boys leader Enrique Tarrio was in the WH in Dec 2020 and said he was just there to check out the Christmas decorations.”

Tarrio told ABC News last year he “got invited to the White House Christmas decorations tour through ‘Latinos For Trump.'”

READ MORE: ‘Standard Bearer of Trumpism’ Marjorie Taylor Greene Bridges White Nationalism and the GOP

Top national security attorney Brad Moss mocked Trump’s claim about the Mar-a-Lago dinner.

“Trump legal team: MAL is a totally secure place where we can be trusted to store classified records,” he tweeted. “Trump PR team: Security at MAL is so lax that a raving white supremacist can just crash Trump’s dinner party with Ye.”

Indeed, The New York Times’ Maggie Haberman commented, “It’s not the central issue with meeting with Fuentes, but the fact that people can show up unvetted and meet with Trump at his club is part of what alarmed the DOJ about his retention of government records, including classified material, when he left office.”

She also posted a screenshot from her book, relevant to Trump’s embrace of the two racists and antisemites. She quotes him saying, “A lot of these people vote,” in relation to “Trump’s refusal to condemn David Duke’s support forcefully in early 2016.”

The AntiDefamation League (ADL) in a 2021 report wrote, “Nicholas Fuentes is a white supremacist leader and organizer and podcaster who seeks to forge a white nationalist alternative to the mainstream GOP.”

Some of Fuentes’ antisemitism has been documented by ADL.

READ MORE: House GOP Whip Denies ‘Knowing Anything About’ Republican Congressman Fundraising With Antisemitic White Nationalist

“Fuentes has made a number of racist and antisemitic comments under the guise of being provocative and ironic,” ADLs report states. “For example, he has referred to Daily Wire columnist Matt Walsh as ‘shabbos goy race traitor’ because he works for Jews (Ben Shapiro, a Jewish conservative, runs the Daily Wire). On a livestream episode, Fuentes ‘jokingly’ denied the Holocaust and compared Jews burnt in concentration camps to cookies in an oven. On May 24, 2021, Fuentes participated in a debate on right-wing conspiracist Alex Jones’ InfoWars with Robert Barnes, a man described as a ‘constitutional lawyer’ who has legally defended both Jones and Kenosha shooter Kyle Rittenhouse. During the debate, Fuentes made numerous antisemitic remarks, including, ‘I don’t see Jews as Europeans and I don’t see them as part of Western civilization, particularly because they are not Christians.'”

Fuentes is strongly pro-Trump, as West alluded to.

“Fuentes promoted election fraud narratives and encouraged his adherents to participate in nationwide ‘Stop the Steal’ protests,” according to ADL.

 

This article has been updated to include Jeff Sharlet’s remarks.

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